Navigate Our Site
Search Site

Percussion Faculty

Reid Kennedy

Reid Kennedy

A native of Winona, Minnesota, Kennedy began his musical studies at the piano in elementary school. After winning a statewide composition contest in fifth grade, he discovered an interest in percussion and eventually graduated With Honors from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Music Education.

While attending the University of Minnesota, Kennedy won a national audition for the drum chair with the Disney All-American College Band, a select group of musicians from colleges and universities across the United States.  Through this experience he lived in Southern California for three months and performed regularly at Disneyland in Anaheim, recorded at Capitol Records in Hollywood, and performed with multiple studio and jazz musicians including Rick Baptist, Shelly Berg, Wayne Bergeron, Bob Florence, Alex Iles, Sal Lozano, Andy Martin, and Jiggs Whigham.

In the Twin Cities, Kennedy is involved with multiple projects as both a composer and performer including the jazz quintet, Snowblind, the Jack Brass Band, and the jazz/hip hop collective, Big Villain co-produced by Grammy winning hip-hop composer and saxophonist Andrew Balogh (Drake, 50 Cent, Jay-Z) and Emmy Award winning, Grammy nominated engineer, Reid Kruger.

Kennedy has enjoyed professional collaborations with Ernestine Anderson, Katisse Buckingham, Taylor Eigsti, Mark Gross, Judith Hill, Richard Johnson, Joe Lovano, Delfeayo Marsalis, Gunther Schuller, Walter Smith III, and others. He has also had the privilege to study with Bernie Dresel, Peter Erskine, Jeff Hamilton, Phil Hey, Steve Houghton, Rich MacDonald, and Dave Weckl.

Read more
Gordy Knudtson

Gordy Knudtson

Department Head, Percussion

Gordy has played hundreds of sessions for jingles, radio and television station logos, industrial film scores, record albums, and compact discs. He has toured extensively, including with the Roy Buchanan Band in 1981 and the Ben Sidran Trio from 1982-1989.

In 1987, Gordy joined the Steve Miller Band and has been touring and recording with the band ever since.  Freelance performance credits include: Jack MacDuff, Eddie Harris, Ernie Watts, Dave Brubeck, Richie Cole, Kevin Mahogany, Othello Molineaux, James Williams, Manfredo Fest, Chuck Berry, Bob Hope, Don Rickles, Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers, Garrison Keilor, and many others.

Learn more at:

Read more
Dave Schmalenberger

David Schmalenberger

David Schmalenberger has recently performed with Pooch’s Playhouse (jazz quintet), the Are You Experienced? Hendrix ensemble, the Laura Caviani trio, Alma Brasileira, the Jazz Imports, jazz vocalists Debbie Duncan, Judi Donaghy, Connie Evingson, Charmin Michelle, and Dennis Spears, Vocal Essence, the The Jesters (jazz quintet), and Synergy (a 10-piece dance band). Schmalenberger has also performed on drumset/percussion with SCHAG (jazz percussion duo with Dave Hagedorn), JazzMN Big Band, John Scofield, Conrad Herwig, Kevin Mahogany, Benny Weinbeck trio, Russ Peterson Big Band, Marvin Stamm, The BigTime Jazz Orchestra, the Cedar Avenue Big Band, Tim Ries, Larry Grenadier, Richard Davis, Steve Turre, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Cab Calloway, Rufus Reid, the Fifth Dimension, and The Mills Brothers; as well as productions at the Ordway and Children’s Theatre Company. David was a featured soloist and principal timpanist with both the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra (Duluth, MN) and the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. He also toured with the Summit Brass Ensemble and the Intergalatic Contemporary Ensemble (I.C.E.).

David's articles "Ed Blackwell's African Influences" and "African Rhythm: Perceptions of a Westerner" were both published in the Percussive Notes periodical. His drumset composition,"I Remember,"is published by HoneyRock Music. David has presented scholarly papers and clinics for the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), Society for American Music (SAM), the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA), and the International Association of Jazz Education (IAJE).

He has studied the traditional music of Africa and the Diaspora for several years, including travels to Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Trinidad, and Brazil. Schmalenberger has recorded with Connie Evingson, the Joel Shapira quartet, Charmin Michelle, the Garth Alper trio, I.C.E., the Bigtime Jazz Orchestra, the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, Equilibrium, and SCHAG. He recently recorded the soundtrack for productions at the Ordway and the Children’s Theatre Company. David is also active as a clinician offering workshops in jazz, percussion, and world music. He has served as adjudicator/clinician for several jazz festivals including those in Eau Claire, WI, Mankato, MN, Lamberton, MN, Roseville, MN, and Greeley, Colorado.

Schmalenberger received his DMA in Percussion Performance and World Music from West Virginia University, Master of Music Degree in Orchestral Percussion from the University of Michigan, and Bachelors Degree in Jazz Studies from Capital University.
David endorses Paiste cymbals.

Read more
Dave Stanoch

David Stanoch

David is an in-demand and versatile drummer/educator who has performed globally with a truly eclectic array of artists including Sheryl Crow, George Clinton, Richard Davis, Freedy Johnston, Jack McDuff, the Minnesota Orchestra, New Kids on the Block, Regis Philbin, Bonnie Raitt, Don Rickles, Doc Severinsen, Ben Sidran, Butch Vig, and the Supremes' Mary Wilson.

Locally, David regularly performs with over half-a-dozen ensembles and does freelance studio work. His 2005 recording, Day & Age, co-produced with Triplicate, a trio he spent over ten years with as a member, received a review from DRUM! Magazine stating, "Frankly, these guys are so good that it's intimidating."

A former student of Max Roach, Alan Dawson, Elliot Fine, Jeff Hamilton and Chad Wackerman, David is a contributing author to Modern Drummer magazine and, in 2012, was named a member of that magazine’s first-ever Educational Team. He is also a member of the Vic Firth Educational Artist Program, the Hudson Music Teacher Integration Program, and hosts a "Chef Corner" giving professional tips and advice at As a sought-after clinician, David regularly presents masterclasses at events including the 2010 Percussive Arts Society International Convention and 2012 NAMM Show.

As an author, his drumset method book, Mastering the Tables of Time, Vol. I, was released to instant critical acclaim in 2008, was voted "Winner: #1 Educational Book" in the Modern Drummer 2009 Readers Poll, and is distributed worldwide by Alfred Music Publishing.

David proudly endorses the fine instruments and accessories produced by Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks and Hansenfutz Tools for Drummers.

For more information visit:

Read more
Paul Stueber

Paul Stueber

Paul Stueber is a respected musician in the Twin Cities area. He has performed with many local artists, playing a wide variety of styles. Paul has performed with Kanda Bongo Man (International Soukous Recording Artist), Samba Mapangala, Ragga Dee, Halima and Roy Kapale (African recording artists), Lorraine Klaasen (Canadian Recording Artist), Phyllis Diller, and Synergy. He has traveled throughout the United States and Puerto Rico performing for major corporate events (Toyota, Mobil Oil, All State Insurance, Motorola, and American Express).

Stueber has also played for the productions "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?" He's performed as a studio musician for Hal Leonard Publishing, Jensen Publishing, Milwaukee Public Television, Tri City National Banks, Super Valu, Imperial Eastman, United Way, and many local and regional artists. Stueber has studied with Joe Porcaro, Chuck Flores, Gary Hess, Steve Houghton, Ralph Humphrey, Ed Roscetti, and Effrian Toro. He was an instructor for four years at Musician's Institute (Hollywood, CA), where he also earned the Drummer of the Year Award.

Read more